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  • Radhika Bobde

Gene Cernan- the Last Human to walk on the Moon

Today, we all are aware of the first man to step on the moon, Neil Armstrong . According to reports, at 02:56 GMT on 21 July 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon. He stepped out of the Apollo 11 lunar module and on the Moon's surface, in the area of the Sea of Tranquility and uttered the following words “That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind”. These words are still used and remembered as inspiration and motivation.

Till date 12 astronauts have walked on the moon from Neil Armstrong to Gene Cernan. Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon; he visited the moon’s neighbourhood twice ,aboard Apollo 10 and Apollo 17. After his two assignments, Gemini 9 and Apollo 10, Cernan was eager to walk on the moon in his next assignment, Apollo 17. During Cernan and Schmitt exploration on the moon in the lunar roving vehicle, they collected many geologic samples including a 34 kilograms sample, the most of any Apollo mission that would give a light on the moon’s history.

As Cernan prepared to climb the ladder for the final time, he spoke these words, currently the last spoken by a human being standing on the lunar surface. “Bob, this is Gene, and I'm on the surface; and, as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come —but we believe not too long into the future— I'd like to just (say) what I believe history will record: that America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus– Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."

He also wrote “We shall return" on the moon and his daughters initials 'TDC’ in the dust of the moon . Cernan died in 2017 at the age of 82, due to ongoing health issues.

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